REDDING, Conn. -- Redding's Brooklee Han, who represents Australia in figure skating, finished fifth at Friday's 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy competition in Germany. But for Han, it was a first-place victory.
The Nebelhorn event also served as the Olympic qualifier for figure skating, with six spots open for ladies to earn for their countries to compete in the games in Sochi, Russia, in February.
Han's solid skate, worth a total of 147.16 points, was the highest among those going for Olympic spots and, therefore, earned a place for an Australian ladies figure skater in the winter games. She is considered the front-runner for the spot to represent Australia in the Olympics.
At Nebelhorn, Han had a great skate, scoring a season's best 48.74 points in her short program and a personal best 98.42 points in her long program. Her total of 147.16 points was also a personal best and more than enough to nab that Olympic place.
In her short program, Han skates to a medley of "Prayer for Taylor" by Michael Smith mixed with "Titanic Symphony" by Richard Clayderman. Her long program is set to the music from the soundtrack of "Secret" by Jay Chou.
Han, 18, is a 2013 graduate of Joel Barlow High School in Redding. She is due to skate next in October at the International Skating Union's Czech Skate, a Junior Grand Prix event. Also, Australia will hold its national championship in December.
The other skaters to earn Olympic spots for their countries were Elene Gedevanishvili of Georgia, who finished sixth overall; Norway's Anne Line Gjersem, seventh overall; Austria's Kerstin Frank, ninth overall; Czech Republic's Elizaveta Ukolova, 10th overall; and Brazil's Isadora Williams, 12th overall. This is the first time Brazil has qualified a figure skating spot in the Olympics. First substitute for a spot is Lithuania.
Nations that secured spots for the Olympics at the World Figure Skating Championships in March were not eligible to get more. For ladies, six places were left open for countries without a slot to earn one.
The gold medalist at Nebelhorn was Elena Radionova of Russia, the reigning world junior champion. The silver medalist was former world champion Miki Ando of Japan, and Ashley Cain of the United States was bronze medalist.
Read more about Han and her Olympic dreams here on The Daily Voice.
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